Rector: The Reverend Prebendary Alan Green
Father Alan was born in 1956 and brought up in Brighton. He attended his local church, St Wilfred’s, from an early age and, after being thrown out of Sunday School for continued misbehaviour, joined the church choir. This regular involvement gave him a fascination for worship that has never diminished!
He consequently studied Theology at university and was considering ordination as a priest. But he was aware that his experience to date was pretty limited, so went off to Germany for three years where he worked as a Geriatric Nursing Auxiliary and discovered that a year without Karnival is a year that has not been fully lived.
At that point he returned to England to go to a selection conference for ordinands which concluded that whilst he might make a good priest, he certainly should not be recommended (being thrown out of Sunday School all over again). After two years working at the Lichfield Diocesan Youth Retreat Centre, the selectors relented and he went on to two years ordination training at Lincoln Theological College – where he learnt to fire-eat.
Alan was ordained in Liverpool Cathedral in 1984 and served his title for three years at St Andrew’s, Tower Hill, Kirkby – an outer estate town on the edge of the city. This large Team Ministry covered the whole town and at the end of his curacy Alan moved to be the Team Vicar at another church within the same Team and town – St Martin’s, Southdene. During this time he developed a huge passion for Liverpool FC, and was called “a Militant rat” by Neil Kinnock on television.
After nine years in Kirkby, Alan wanted to try something different, and became Chaplain of Worcester College, Oxford. His Liverpool training stood him in good stead, since he was now able to outdrink most students, a quality which was widely recognised as a fresh expression of ‘Being Church’. The main point of theological discussion with the dons of the College over the next four years was which saints he was allowed to celebrate in the Chapel’s Daily Mass, and he was relieved to keep his feet on the ground by being involved in the Oxford parishes of St Giles’ and St Margaret’s as an Assistant Curate. Four years proved to be quite enough of academic life for Alan, and he was overjoyed to discover St John on Bethnal Green, where he has been very, very happy since 1998.
In 2010 he was made a Prebend of St Paul’s Cathedral in recognition of his interfaith work in Tower Hamlets and his encouragement of the arts at St John on Bethnal Green.
He is married, and a very proud grandfather.